Google has launched a new program similar to Amazon’s Alexa Fund to invest and provide resources for new startups that work with Google Assistant. It’s called the Google Assistant Investments program.
In addition to capital contribution, Google will connect the team with engineers, product managers and design experts in Google, guide the team through technical and product development. Google will also provide marketing resources to bolster new startups.
They will also get access to the Google Cloud platform, as well as early access to Google’s features and tools for developers.
“We’re opening a new investment program for early-stage startups that share our passion for the digital assistant ecosystem, helping to push new ideas forward and advance the possibilities of what digital assistants can do,” said Google in a statement.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, owns venture arms including Capital G and Google Ventures. Unlike other initiatives that aim for short-term profit returns, the Google Assistant Investments program will focus more on strategic investments that will nourish the Google Assistant ecosystem.
Google highlights Google Assistant’s application in travel, hospitality and gaming. The company didn’t say how much capital in total this investment program will provide, while Amazon’s Alexa Fund provides up to US$100 million in capital for developers that use its voice technology.
Google has listed four companies that will receive investments. GoMoment provides Google Assistant service as a hotel concierge tool in hotel rooms; Edwin turns the voice assistant into an English tutor and helps people prepare language tests; BotSociety allows developers to design and prototype their own voice assistants; and Pulse Labs enables developers to test their voice service with real people.